You and your child have worked so hard and made so much progress during the school year. Summer is on the way, a beautiful chance to let go of some of that stress and enjoy your free time together.
Unfortunately, summer holidays can also lead to an academic slide. It can be difficult for parents to find that balance between letting loose for the summer holidays and keeping up on academic skills like reading. Here are some tips for getting into the reading habit this summer.
1. Let your child choose books that interest them.
Just the act of reading helps alleviate the academic slide. If that means a vacation filled primarily with comic books or Diary of a Wimpy Kid, that’s fine! Children are assigned reading throughout the school year, which can cause them to lose interest in reading for pleasure.
While it’s nice to fit in classics or more challenging material at times, giving kids control over their own reading material encourages them to make it a part of their own lives, versus approaching it as yet another chore to be completed.
2. Read to your child, even if they are older.
This is especially powerful if your child struggles with reading. Reading to your child is a way to expose them to longer, more complicated stories that might otherwise be too intimidating or outside of their range.
Whether you imagine a more beautiful world with Anne of Green Gables or go adventuring with The Hobbit, you’ll have the memory of that summer story you shared. Not sure where to start? Check out the list of Newbery Medal and Honor books for inspiration.
3. Read all over.
Reading doesn’t have to mean staying at home. Breathe new life into the activity by taking your books on the road. Pack a picnic and read in the park. Grab a cup of cocoa and read in a cafe.
Pitch a tent, make s’mores, and read scary stories to each other by firelight. Challenge yourselves to come up with as many creative ideas as you can.
4. Enlist a librarian.
Librarians are the unsung heroes of literacy. Not sure what your child likes to read? (Not even sure if your child would like to read?) The children’s librarian nearest to you has had dozens, probably hundreds of conversations with kids not unlike yours, and also has their finger on the pulse of what’s new in the book world.
They know what’s being checked out, what’s being turned into a movie, what sucked in the most reluctant readers until they felt like they couldn’t put the book down. On top of that, the library also has events, entertainment, and classes for free. Why not pick up a few books while you’re at it?
5. Try a summer reading challenge.
Speaking of libraries, most have summer reading challenges available for children, teens, and sometimes adults, where readers can stretch themselves to read more for a few months. Are you traveling or otherwise unable to make it in person? Not a problem.
Scholastic offers a summer reading challenge in which you can register and earn points entirely online. Registration for most summer reading programs begins in April or May, so keep an eye open for information.
Still need extra support?
If your child needs additional help with learning to read, there’s a place for that too. It’s easy for children to lose the love of reading when their basic academic needs haven’t been met. At Read Smart, we work with children to build their literacy skills in an environment that is encouraging and positive. Contact us to schedule a free reading evaluation today.